Sterling Shepard should be in for massive year with Giants

NFL: New York Giants-OTA

The New York Giants trotted out a true M.A.S.H. unit at the wide receiver position at times last season.

Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard both missed time due to injuries and free-agent signing Brandon Marshall lasted just about a month. That was a big reason the team posted an embarrassing 3-13 record.

But this is a new year. Beckham is back healthy and Evan Engram is poised to become a big target for Eli Manning. But Shepard is truly the name to watch.

After a solid rookie season, Shepard was forced to sit out a few games in 2017 due to issues with migraine headaches.

This is going to be a new season. You feel it too, right?

Manning has a running game and what should be an improved offensive line to work with. Having Beckham back to draw the attention of the opposition’s best defender or in some cases defenders, only opens the door even further for Shepard. Teams will have to take the risk of going one-on-one with the third-year pro, and Manning could make them pay in that situation.

If you haven’t been reading the reports from the team’s training camp on Shepard, they’re generally quite positive. Here’s one:

Here’s Shepard in action at camp:

Remember when the Dallas Cowboys decided to part ways with Dez Bryant? It seemed almost immediately that the first team connected to Bryant was the Giants. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport quickly shot that down, reporting that the Giants weren’t interested in the receiver.

Many fans may have been salivating over the idea of Odell and Dez lining up on the same field together, but the reason the Giants weren’t interested is because they know what they have in a healthy Shepard. Truthfully, that’s a better combination.

Shepard recorded 65 receptions during his rookie campaign before adding another 59 in 2017. Look for a big jump in his numbers this season as he posts a career year.

Manning has always been good at spreading the ball around and though Beckham is arguably the league’s most dynamic playmaker, Shepard flies under the radar and his combination of speed, footwork and precise route running will have him making plays on a regular basis this season.

For all of you fantasy football players out there, here’s a tip. Gain an advantage over everyone else in your league by drafting this guy at the right time.

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